Singapore – Leading tech company Microsoft fortifies its diversity & inclusion advocacy through its latest initiative across APAC, the Microsoft Enabler Program.
Said to be the first of its kind, the program partners non-profit organizations (NPOs) who will provide training to organizations to become inclusive employers, who in turn will provide job shadowing, internships, mentoring, and opportunities in tech jobs for PWDs identified by the NPOs.
The program will be piloted in five markets: Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, before expanding to the rest of the region by the end of 2020.
Within the program, Microsoft will also see the direct training to PWDs themselves, where sessions will circle engineering and programming and cloud computing on Microsoft Azure as well as application development in GitHub.
For the employer partners, alongside offering inputs on workplace modifications, workshops by NPOs will teach inclusive design and assistive technologies enabled through artificial intelligence on Microsoft Azure.
Chief partner officer of Microsoft for APAC Vivek Puthucode said that as 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, tech roles and digital skills will be the backbone of the economic recovery in every country.
“In today’s workplace, it is imperative that we include everyone, and accessibility is the vehicle to inclusion. It is a responsibility and an opportunity. There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it,” said Puthucode.
He says of the program, “At the heart of the Microsoft Enabler Program is a comprehensive accessibility model that will not only improve inclusion of people with disabilities across Asia Pacific for years to come but [also] connects local talent from underrepresented communities and improves our society.”
Microsoft said that in addition, it will be providing a platform for all three parties to better collaborate on the program.
There are a total of Six NPOs, all dedicated to promoting inclusion in the workplace, and 14 tech organizations that are part of the program.
To expand the talent pipeline for employer partners and connect job-seeking PWDs to tech roles, the program will also feature a virtual job fair, which will be held at the end of the second quarter of 2021.